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teajoteas said

The shipping threshold - how much is too much?

How much is too much when it comes to online shipping rates? Also, at what purchase amount do you expect to receive free shipping? Looking forward to the comments. Thank you.

37 Replies
Sil select said

eesh… this is a tricky one for me. I’ve spent 23$ on shipping before, but was super frustrated by it – the only reason i did it was because i had a discount on the tea which came out to roughly what i’d saved. What drives me more mental than anything is watching the US get free shipping (often even in places like alaska) while shipping to canada is 10$+

I think part of my other issue comes when you see the wide variety of shipping costs from different companies. I’ve seen some place do a flat rate of 4$ and then turn around only to see another company try to get 35$ for shipping!!! And this is when we’re talking roughly the same volumes.

I appreciate it when free shipping occurs under the 40$ mark. I find that I balk a little when i have to pay 50$ just to get free shipping whereas 35-40 doesn’t seem nearly as bad.

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First, kinda depends where you are located. When I lived in Canada, $5 shipping was an amazing deal, but $8 – $12 seemed typical. Now in the US, I expect a good price on shipping to be less, depending what I get and how they package it.

Cheap shipping sometimes comes back at ya. I’ve ordered from a few places having free shipping or very cheap shipping at like $2 – $3 and my tea would be in a envelope (bubble or not bubble) with dented tea tins. Once I lost a few sample teas that popped open from inside the package.

With that said, I’m happy to pay like $5 – $6 for my tea to come in a box so they arrive safely against angry mail delivery people.

$50 seems the most typical for free shipping from places, however it seems to depend on whether that includes tea ware or not. $25 – $30 for free shipping is a deal I jump on sometimes. Past $50, ehhh too much for me and I rather not have my order rack up that high.

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Azzrian said

A great deal on free shipping for me is 25 dollars.
I mean tea is light – if tea WARE is in the order it makes a difference and I would pay more but on a straight tea order I feel 25 is a GREAT deal – 30 – 50 a fair deal – anything over 50 seems a bit much.
I mean that would be a fair amount of tea depending on what the tea itself costs.
Again though I would not fault a company for charging more for shipping when mailing tea ware is involved.
That is heavy and far more costly to the company to ship and should be shipped safely which involves more packaging etc.

The most I would pay for shipping over all without tea ware involved is 10 bucks. That is the limit for me generally.
With tea ware – anywhere up to 15.00 USD is what a I referring to.

I agree completely with this!

Azzrian said

Well thank you :)

teajoteas said

I wish there was a simple method to separate shipping charges for heavy items (teaware) and non-teaware items. We are trying to keep it simple with flat rates, but in doing so, we are unable to address the concept of weight-based shipping rates.

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momo said

I will rarely place an order if shipping is over $6-7 and I’m not ordering that much, especially if it’s being shipped via UPS. They are not good with 6 oz boxes. Last time that happened I received a nicely dented box where they also managed to dent the foil bag packaging of the tea too.

$50 seems to be the typical like Awkward Soul said, but I rarely will try to meet that if shipping for less is fair. $25-35 for free shipping has me getting to that minimum 85% of the time for sure.

ERR UPS! They like chucking my boxes over my fence (and often I was home when they came, they just like to leave the box)! My ESP order was all scrambled and smushed by them!

momo said

Yep, mine happened with an ESP order too! I was amazed a couple bags weren’t entirely crushed leaves considering how bad the bags were crumpled.

BoxerMama said

UPS rings my bell and throws the box in the front porch. So my dogs go nuts for no reason.

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Nik select said

Unfortunately for small retailers, Amazon have set a standard in the States of free shipping with a minimum purchase of $25 (without Amazon Prime). Consequently, when I see tea sites proudly advertising free shipping with orders of $50, $60, or even $75, I just get irritated. That’s not a deal, especially when we’re talking about a product that is usually purchased in small, modestly priced amounts. Every time I’ve placed that $60 order, soooo much tea, I’ve regretted it.

It’s probably not fair to the tea vendor, but I’ll spend at most USD$25-$30 to get free shipping. Furthermore, if vendor 1 offers free shipping at $30 but charges a bit more for their tea than vendor 2, who prices their tea lower but charges for shipping (or has a high threshold for free shipping), I’ll buy from vendor 1: I’d rather pay more for tea than pay for shipping. (Yes, I do realise that this is a psychological difference for the most part, but there it is.)

I would be hard-pressed to pay more than $5-$7 for shipping tea. I think USD$10 would be my hard limit.

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Angrboda said

I absolutely will not pay more than $15 tops for shipping. And even that much I think is a lot. Any company willing to ship to me for more than that are deemed out of reach for me, no matter what they carry.

As for free shipping on larger orders, that’s something I consider a bonus, but not something I ever expect. I have, however, been known to press an order up to $70 (mostly on TeaSpring) in order to obtain it. Ironically TeaSpring charges very little for shipping…

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Uniquity said

I prefer not to buy online at all (I like to keep my business local and I hate paying shipping) but tea doesn’t really grow next door. : ) The odd time I order online, shipping IS a big factor. I live in Canada and know that shipping from Canada to other places (including within the country!) is astronomical. However, I also know that in many cases, shipping from the US to Canada is not that much at all. If I can’t get free shipping, I am willing to pay the cost (typically 3 to 4 dollars) for a small amount of tea. Of course, a larger weight can equal a lrger cost so I appreciate it when companies offer free shipping at a certain dollar value (25 is nice, but 40ish is more reasonable). The issue is that I’m not likely to order 40 dollars of tea from a new company at a time, so I need to have tried the tea before, one way or another.

Zoltar said

True postal service ( and not only canada post , purolator and the other ) is really bad for store owner and customer i pay less to get something from the US than from a city that take 20 minute to go with a car ( my problem come more form the fact that i hate to wait 2 week for a shipping i know that not store owner fault but i’m not gonna pay 25$ shipping just to have it 3 day faster )

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I won’t pay above 20 dollars for shipping, end of, and if I’m paying that much it better be a damn special tea. I expect less than $10 for stuff like flavoured blends. I won’t pay $25+ total for an ounce of tea when I could pick up something similar from DAVIDsTEA for a couple of bucks.

If free shipping is at a point over 50 dollars, I laugh. If that’s U.S. only, I’m pissed off. Nice try.

DaisyChubb said

Yeah, my sad squishy face appears when I see “Free shipping for X dollars!”. Click on it and see US only, free shipping for Canadians? over $100! blargh.

Even THAT wouldn’t suck as much… I mean when you see free shipping for Americans at like, 50 dollars, and Canadians? $35 shipping, no international free shipping at all, what a deal!

DaisyChubb said

Ah yeah that too :B

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This is an interesting topic with interesting replies. I wonder if you all would like a retailers take on “Free Shipping”?

Sil select said

Of course! I think that’s part of the beauty of this site, the customers get to interact with the sellers and both parties get to see things from both points of view :)

Zoltar said

Yeah we will like it most of us are not retailer we can’t really know how it’s work from your side of the stories and i’m sure most of us would also like if you are able to explain extreme cost difference between store for mostly the same merchandise i know that some retailer get a part of the price on themselves so costumer paid less but i have seen 30 $ shipping difference for the same thing

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I always think “free shipping” is an interesting thing. To me, if the sum of price + shipping is a good deal, then it’s a good deal. If the price is too high, even with free shipping, it’s not a good deal. If the shipping is super expensive but the price is super low for the level of the product, then it’s probably still a good deal.

That being said, usually I think it’s a good idea to offer free shipping with a threshold, because people who buy more at one time deserve some special treat. But even with that, free shipping is actually sort of discount and not really “free” shipping, because the profit from the price must cover the free shipping anyway.

It may be a psychological thing, but if the price of the tea is really cheap, I’m way less likely to buy it from a company with a high shipping cost. I mean, if it’s that cheap in the first place, why am I essentially paying 5 or more times the original price for it? Is it actually worth it?

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